Bleacher Report bust: C'mon man. LA Rams OLB Michael Hoecht?

Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout Michael Hoecht
Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout Michael Hoecht / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages

Although it's a Monday morning, I find myself sipping my morning cup of coffee and wondering: Why does LA Rams outside linebacker Michael Hoecht find himself named on the latest Bleacher Report: Predicting Every NFL Team's Biggest Bust of the 2023 NFL Season by Alex Ballentine? I mean, doesn't the biggest bust infer some semblance of high-stakes investment?

If undrafted Hoecht, who cross-trained from a down defensive lineman to outside linebacker mid-season in 2022, and subsequently record 4.5 quarterback sacks while Aaron Donald recovered on the bench, is a bust? Then everyone on the Rams roster is a bust. I mean, c'mon man? No, really.

C'mon, man!

I mean, who's he kidding? The LA Rams converted a rotational and undrafted down defensive lineman into an upright pass rush specialist mid-season, without any of the benefits of training camp or preseason games. The Rams basically threw him into the deep end of the pool, against the Kansas City Chiefs, and stood back to see if he could tread water. When he put up six tackles on 64 defensive snaps, the Rams were sold. He started at the outside linebacker position for the rest of the season.

He proceeded to record 4.5 sacks and 28 tackles for the Rams over the last six games. Was he perfect at the position? No. But he was incredibly effective,

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I don't think that word means what you think it means

Hoecht is earning $940,000 to play for the LA Rams this year. He may or may not earn a starting role as the outside linebacker on the Rams 53-man roster. Well, for that matter, he may not even make the Rams 53-man roster this year. Here's what B/R Alex Ballantine has to say:

"While it's hard to say who will stick around and prove they are part of the rebuild, Michael Hoecht stands out as one who may be set up to struggle. The 6'4", 310-pound defender moved to outside linebacker in the middle of the season and figures to reprise the role this season . . .

If Hoecht were sliding back inside where he could rush the passer alongside Aaron Donald, it would be exciting to see what he can do to build on his 4.5 sacks last season. But his build isn't ideal for playing in space and it feels like the Rams are using some wishful thinking." - as per Bleacher Report Alex Ballentine.

The term 'bust' as used here has a specific meaning: In this topic, it means to be a complete failure, a flop. But how can a young man who was signed to the LA Rams roster as a defensive tackle, cross-trained to help out the team at a position of need, and who succeeded in that role, suddenly be at risk to become the Rams biggest bust of 2023?

MIchael Hoecht is a low-risk high-reward gamble to fill a role for the Rams defense at the outside linebacker position. Low risk means that very little is at stake.

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Will Hoecht be the LA Rams' Biggest Bust of the 2023 NFL Season? Why even suggest such a ridiculous notion?

C'mon, man!